The Simple Psychology of Your Social Networks

Facebook.  Are we friends or aren’t we?  Like a BFF, wondering if she’s been replaced, facebook connections (whether from real life or not) will run the deepest and be the most hurt if (more like when) you decide to “unfriend” them.  Those darned decisions, right?  It seemed like a good idea to “friend” your entire family… at the time.  Until you realize Cousin Sally shares TMI (too much information) and Aunt Betty is trying to “friend” all of your friends to sell them cactus juice from Sedona.  And, oh by the way, if you are “friends” with your boss, may the force be with you.

Twitter.  Don’t tread on me.  Your Twitter followers will expect that you pick a style and live with it.  Like, forever.  If you tweet about Bob Marley, Hipsters and Donald Trump’s hair this week.  Don’t expect to talk about existentialism, Requiems and Star Wars raves the next.  I’m just saying.  Pick a voice.  Embrace it and love it or the followers will be few and far between.

LinkedIn.  Otherwise known as Recruiters R Us.  A haven for job seekers and those who seek them.  And in a strange online recruiting meets Hunger Games kind of way, it’s addicting to have a profile.  If you feel so inclined, you can try and socialize with your network.  Let me know how that works out for ya!

Reddit.  Hardcore techs only need apply.  If you dream of uploading code to Source Forge, this is the place for you.   While the conversation is fun (usually) and informative (almost always), the core users of Reddit take their posting habits very (very) seriously.   Srsly.   Techie lite?   Speak only when spoken to…

YouTube.  Haven for mass, off-topic comments.  The premier video watching hangout for all generations online.  Loved by mass marketers, big brands, brass bands, and chart toppers.   The comments alone are enough to keep you entertained for weeks on end.  Fair warning: not for the faint of heart.

Google+.  The sleeper.  Like an indie movie that never got it’s day in the theatrical sun, G+ is the “quiet as it’s kept” go to space for early adopters.  It’s the one place where Silicon Valley celebs might actually +1 you (the equivalent of a virtual high 5).  And you won’t find Grandma lurking around the corner.  Subtle circles allow for less emotion over who’s following or un-friending whom.  You will find the most amazing real life photography around, G+ actually gives Tumblr a run for it’s money there.  It may not have the masses of a Facebook, the obsessive retweet or get lost atmosphere of Twitter, nor the see and be seen necessity of a LinkedIn, but Google+ is the least likely to leave you lying on a couch, arm over head, moaning about declining Klout scores.

That’s where you’ll find me, hanging out, relaxing after a long day of like, comment, tweet, blog, rinse, repeat…

Wait, you say, what about MySpace?   MySpace?!   What are you… a rockstar?


84 thoughts on “The Simple Psychology of Your Social Networks

  1. Youtube comments – entertaining? Maybe, if you like swimming in a cesspit. I don’t know what happened to Youtube. It was actually quite cool the first year or two. I met some great people there, but now it is just this ugly, amorphous mass of I don’t know what. The only thing it is any good for is hosting videos – turn off the comments, do nothing with you’re channel and embed your videos elsewhere.

    Reddit is actually okay if you know what you’re doing. Once you figure it out it is actually pretty fast to use and get what you want. Some really cool stuff happens there if you know where to look. There are a few of the ‘arrested development’ types that should not be let out of the basement, but generally it is pretty good.

    Facebook – I hear ya!! I stopped using my account two years ago and have now forgotten my password. But yeah I discovered that I am actually a lot more private than I realised – lesson in self-discovery. I think the problem is the use of the word ‘friend’. Also, I became by necessity a PR version of myself which, well, why bother.

    Twitter – I don’t get it?

    Google + – yet to heck it out except for “hanging out” with my nephew, which seems to work quite well.

    Interesting round up! 🙂

  2. Facebook is amazing! I think our social networking experience deals more with who our friends are rather than what the service offers. All of the services mentioned on here are great platforms! (except for maybe…Myspace?) So, our negative experiences have less to do with the platform itself and more to do with the people that we’re dealing with.

    Great post, btw!

  3. Perfect.

    I made a G+ account when it first came out… and promptly ceased to use it. Just logging into Facebook makes me feel like I’ve lost dozens of neurons, so I hide out at Goodreads. Minimal social interaction, but great for distraction!

  4. Google+ is seriously slept on. It more like the rebound relationship,people joined after the Facebook timeline shift it was fun but eventually we went back.

  5. Too funny…especially the last line about MySpace.

    I have just joined Google+, but I can’t seem to really get into it yet. I’m hoping there’s just a steep learning curve…otherwise I’m probably opening myself up to a whole lot o’ scrutiny that I didn’t mean to invite!

    Wish me luck. Perhaps our paths will circle around someday? (See what I did there: Google+ humor, right? Yeah. Not so much…) 😉

  6. I love using social media.. it keeps me connected to friends around the world, I love to see photos of what people are doing and updates on peoples lives. Facebook has been a wonderful way to be a part of peoples lives .. I have seen friends in Brazil have babies and watch them grow virtually.. this is really special to me.

  7. I agree with Waterlexeme on Youtube. I used to like to see people’s channels see what they’re about, get to know their personality, trade video themes, etc. Now its a persona-less, slush pool of videos I don’t want to see, commercials I don’t want to sit through, and nameless posters and commenters I don’t care about. You can’t even customize your channel anymore. It’s worse than TV – lots-a-shows… nothing I want to watch. The only thing its good for is embedding your vid somewhere else.

  8. I confess I’ve still not understood Twitter—how often to post, how many topic changes are allowed on tweets, etc. Facebook is just getting tiring, now that every ‘like’ by every friend rolls down my feed. As for google+, I read somewhere that it’s a sausagefest. And as long as the girls don’t move to google+, the guys won’t be active on it. Reddit is good for news, I find most of the posts annoying.
    Funny post. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  9. I’ve been on Reddit for a little over a year, but I’m getting tired of it. Sure, some of the comment sections are funny, but the sheer amount of hate, sexism, bigotry, etc. is a bit off-putting.

    • yeah,reddit seems more like ‘forum’ type of thing to me. i joined then left because of the all the dumb sh*t on it. oh and i LOVE this blog post!! i was laughing as i read it.

    • Susan – I’d predict something that capitalizes on the obsessive *must share* of a Facebook/Twitter along with the mobile ease of a Foursquare. But more *social* then an Instagram. Just a guess.

  10. Hi! Great post! Congratulations on making it to ‘Freshly Pressed’!

    I’m not on Facebook or Google+ and I don’t intend to be. All of my family, friends and colleagues are on FB and the amount of info they share just seem obscene to me! I mean do we really need to know what someone had for breakfast or how fast someone’s ‘groin’ injury is healing? I’m a private person and I’d like to stay that way.

    I do have a Twitter account but I mostly use it to publicize my blog posts.

  11. On my personal profile on facebook, I have kept it down to 57 friends. Sadly, I DO need to pare that down because not all of them are actual friends, and some are family members. Now I’m stuck though. The family members are the kind to take it personally if I unfriend them. Don’t know why, we never really interact on there…

  12. Great post.

    Facebook I don’t really get much drama as I only have friends on there that I actually know in person. Some just add people for the pure sake of it…i mean come on who has over 1000 friends in real life? YouTube I just watch videos and movies, no contacts on there…myspace…wow that brings back some funny, scary, omg memories…deleted that many, many moons ago…

  13. Facebook used to be a lot of fun – when it was simpler, with less someecards, and shares, and dumb edited pictures, and people posing, and people writing one word statuses and trying to be cool.
    Now… not so much.

      • Hahahaha, that’s a new way to look at it! I’m just really upset that the word ‘cool’ lost it’s original meaning and value. ‘Like’ and ‘Cool’ – two of the most over-used words I’ve ever come across.

  14. Pingback: The Freshly Pressed Viewpoint (or How to Go from 0 to 60 on a Whim) | The Wandering Dreamer

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  16. So true about Facebook, it really has become an important part of relationships now. And really – how freakin awkward to run into someone you’ve defriended…. Never got into LinkedIn though. Just got Twitter and deactivated it the other day. TOO. MUCH. GOING. ON!!!! Thanks for sharing and congrats on FP!

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